Covered Ground: October 1979

In Gelände, as in life: A helmet is advised

On the cover: Shot the first week in May after a storm at Crater Lake, Oregon, skier Jay Merrill kicks up a little dust for photographer Mike Epstein.

Vol. 8 No. 2 is packed full of vintage value. Inside, we meet four top Gelände competitors who say if you’re athletic, average on skis, and have a need for speed—you too can get Gelände-sprung (written by Dave Baldridge). Scott Cowan, 22, tells you how: You’ve just got to to do it! Build up the air miles and put your mind to it! A helmet is a matter of personal preference, but I advise it. (As he should). Because “Gelände is like golf, only you’re the ball.” Send it!

Flip a few pages and you’ll find Tom Bean’s story Alaska, a photo essay of his solo trip through the Brady Ice Field that’ll make you sure Alaska was as big and as beautiful shot on film as she is in HD.

“Many beginning photographers are convinced that the reason their photos aren’t satisfactory is that they lack an expensive camera, the right lens, or a certain secret filter. Actually, you should be able to take good photos with an Instamatic… if you can’t take some nice shots with an Instamatic, buying an expensive camera won’t solve that problem. Good photography is learned, not bought.” Take note, Generation Selfie Stick. #nofilter

Ted Allrich sets up a satirical scene in As the Skier Turns that could have been written in present day save for the lack of Tinder mentions.

“A summary of our story to this point: Bart and Rachel Beefy own the Sno Cone Valley ski area. They are hopelessly in love, but not with each other, and have a unsightly daughter, Betty, who is a cyclops. Betty is desperately in love with Jake, the bartender, who is passionately in love with himself but has some feelings left over for Wendy, the waitress. Wendy is having a reckless, sterile, dispassionate affair with Bart Beefy, but secretly longs for Pepsy Schussmeister, the gifted ski instructor who is in love with Rachel Beefy but can’t tell her because, like all the best ski instructors, he speaks no English. Finally, there is Jim Slush, a chairlift operator who loves Wendy, Rachel, Betty and chair number 37. He is not choosy…”

Still sounds like life in a ski town. Swipe left.